Is this an ad?

Yep. RealFaviconGenerator now displays an ad at the top of each page. I don’t feel the need to justify this decision but I’d like to comment it.


First, let’s talk about money. Since June 2014, RFG has a Paypal Donate button for users who want to support the service. I’ve already thanked them personally but let me seize the opportunity of this post to say:

Thanks you guys!!!!!

Seriously. This is amazing. I picture a user who just spent a minute or two on RFG and, while downloading his package, actually goes through the Paypal process to give money for something free anyway. Free and small: let’s face it, RFG saves only an hour of your life, not your life itself.

How many? Well, I didn’t make serious stats. RFG received nearly 100 donations in 8 months, with a slow down recently. I think regular users willing to give have already did it. How much? I think the record was set to $25. Wow. Most donations are something like $5. In the end, donations barely cover the hosting costs.

I received a mail last week suggesting to accept bitcoins, which I did. Now I’m waiting for the millions.

To conclude with donations, I must admit this is not my preferred way to earn money from a web site. One user out of a few thousands gives a significant amount of money while all the others get the service for free. To this respect, I like the spirit of Flattr, a micro donation service. As a consumer, you allocate a monthly donation budget: $2, $4… your choice. Each time you want to support a web site, a blogger, a Youtuber or whoever, you Flattr-like him. At the end of the month, your budget is divided among the people you liked. I would find way fairer to get a few cents from 1% of my users instead of 5$ from 0.01% users. Unfortunately, Flattr didn’t receive the audience it deserves (yet?).


Ads are more in line with the previous paragraph. Of course, this is not “giving” anymore. But each user pays with the little bit of attention the ad requires. A really small prize paid by everyone (you don’t use AdBlocker, do you?).

I discovered CarbonAds in the Bootstrap web site. Their ads were light, non-intrusive and technical-oriented. So I put this in my “maybe later” list. A few days ago, I contacted CarbonAds to give it a try. Some code to copy/paste, some style to add and here it is. Now I’m looking at the stats.

Maybe I’ll test AdSense, too.

The future

Well, I don’t know. At least there are two things I’m sure of.

First, I would like to make money from RFG. I think the service is useful. It fills a gap in web development. A small gap. So it won’t make me rich, but I want my small bucks.

Whatever happens, RealFaviconGenerator as it is today will remain free. In other words, whatever you do for free with RFG today will still be free tomorrow. No premium options, no API calls limit or stuff like this. This is a question of ethic. If I had planned to “close” the platform at some point, I would have had to mention it. This reminds me of MakerBot and their switch from open-source hardware to closed-source. Part of the community felt betrayed. Going from closed to open is obviously okay, and keeping closed is okay, too. But giving then taking back is not. And definitely not something I will do.

Ok, so, do you like the new ads? 🙂

Welcome, Android Chrome!

From the beginning, RealFaviconGenerator supports Android Chrome. Well, that was minimum service. Sure, the required icon was generated, but that was all. In particular, there was no “RealFaviconGenerator’s touch”, which is the ability to design an icon for that particular platform. Your master picture was used as is by Android.

Until now. RFG now provides full support for Android Chrome.

Android Chrome editor - Home screen

The icon editor is familiar: a set of sensible settings are offered so you can get the best of your icon and make is fit any Android device home screen:

  • Use the icon as it is. Easy one.
  • Apply margins and an opaque background. Classic. This one is especially useful when you have a picture with square corners. Because Android crops them, adding margins is a great workaround to keep the precious corners.
  • Drop shadow. Why a drop shadow? To copy Google. Look at the official Google apps: Gmail, Youtube or Chrome itself. They all have a thin drop shadow. You can make your icon stand out with the same effect.

In addition, RFG supports the new manifest introduced in Android Chrome M39. With this manifest come 6 icons. Apparently Google is willing to compete with Apple and its numerous Touch icons. As an option, you can also define the other fields of the manifest: web site aspect when it is launched from the home screen link, screen orientation, etc.

Android Chrome editor - Options

Older versions of Chrome are supported: the 192×192 PNG icon is still generated and declared in the vanilla HTML.

Also new with Android 5.0 Lollipop is the theme color. When listing the running apps, Android lets you define the color that fits your site best.

Android Chrome editor - Task switcher

In the end, Google did a great move with the new manifest. It finally allows us to define a platform-specific picture for Android Chrome, which is good news. Android is different of desktop and iOS. Wanting a particular design for the home screen icon make perfect sense. That point has haunted me for some time and I’m glad I’m on my way for resilience 🙂

The Android Chrome icon editor is the blue print for the next improvements in the UI. In particular, icon design settings can be used along with a dedicated picture. This is a long due TODO for iOS and Windows.

I hope you will like this new addition. Let me know what could be improved!

iOS startup image now available via the API

iOS lets you define a startup image. When your visitors add your web site to their home screen, this image is displayed for a short time when the home screen link is clicked.

Now you can create this image with the help of the non-interactive API. Well, “this image” actually means “these 7 images”. And the HTML code is not trivial. Definitely not something you want to deal with a few hours before the release of your next web project.

Special thanks to Taylor Fausak for his great iOS startup image reference! The official Apple docs are clearly outdated.

Oh, and if you think the photo used to illustrate this post is below standards: just try to take a screenshot of an actual startup image. The image appears for a second, at most. It is awfully hard! 😉